iOS 5.1 Beta Reveals Evidence of Simultaneous Development on A5X and A6 Chips

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    While Apple has been rumored by several sources to be planning to deploy a quad-core processor as part of what was presumed to be a new "A6" system-on-a-chip in the iPad 3, that assumption was called into question earlier this month with the appearance of a logic board photo showing an "A5X" package instead. Some have suggested that the implication of the package being a beefed-up A5 would limit it to a dual-core processor.

    The idea of the package being a smaller upgrade is supported by Apple referring to the application processor as S5L8945X, a part number jump of only five from the S5L8940X processor found in the A5. The A4 chip launched in the original iPad carried a processor designated S5L8930X.


    But now an examination of the iOS 5.1 beta code by 9to5Mac has revealed yet another application processor, S5L8950X, appearing alongside the S5L8945X that is apparently inside the A5X. This new application processor is presumed to be part of Apple's actual A6 system-on-a-chip.
    The report notes that mentions for both processors entered the iOS beta code simultaneously, but it is unclear exactly what Apple's plans are for the two processors. It is possible that they represented a "Plan A/Plan B" scenario, or they could potentially be targeted for two different devices.

    Article Link: iOS 5.1 Beta Reveals Evidence of Simultaneous Development on A5X and A6 Chips
  2. psxp macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
  3. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
  4. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    I don't think there will be both chips in the end. They will choose only the best for their devices overall, using both would be ineffective for both fragmentation and mass economy strategy.
  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Of course.

    The iPad isn't the only product that uses the Apple chips. Apple has employed a two chip strategy for a while.

    Apple TV, iPod Touch = former generation
    iPad - newest generation
  6. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    A5X for new Apple TV or low cost iPad.
    A6 for iPad 3 and 6th gen iPhone.
  7. dokujaryu macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Irvine, California
    Didn't Apple recently salt their files with a bunch of part numbers to thwart this kind of bit peeking?
  8. HarryKeogh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008
    Retina Display is enough to get everyone excited about the iPad. I think they'll save the quad core for the iPad 4 or iPhone 5.
  9. RalfTheDog macrumors 65816


    Feb 23, 2010
    Lagrange Point
    iPad II+ and iPad III. The next iPhone will use the same core as the iPad II+.
  10. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I'd say it's more Apple updating the iPod Touch rather erratically, with the 2nd and 4th generation models not getting a new SoC at the lowest price point for some reason.

    I wouldn't speculate on the update frequency of the Apple TV, considering there's only been two models.
  11. mijail macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2010
    Yep. Now, it'd be interesting to find a need for them.
  12. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    My guess:

    The Retina iPad uses the A6.

    A 7.8" iPad with a 1024 x 768 display uses the A5X.

    The sizes help differentiate the 2 models.
  13. Rokeneer macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    They can use the dual core A5X to beef up the low-end iPad 2 to become iPad 2 (S or X?) that they will sell along side the A6 iPad 3. They might do similar with iPhone 4S(X?) (beef it up to A5X) when the iPhone 5 (A6) is released. Plus the iPod touch idea mentioned as well as other possibilities.
  14. Virtualball macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2006
    They filled a certain file with things like iPad10,3 which is ridiculous and totally unbelievable. That doesn't fall in line with a believable SoC model number, but who knows? They're probably real and being tested, but never put one past Apple to go this in depth to thwart leaks.
  15. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Apple's not going to make people wait until next year to get a Quad Core iPad. Especially given that Mobile World Congress is going on now with a bunch of announcements of Quad Core phones.

    Next year will be the Apple processor based off the A15 core and PowerVR Rogue graphics. It'll be a barn burner.

    Apple TV is drying up in the channel. iPod touch is too thin to squeeze in today's 40nm A5. It only makes sense to branch the A5 into a 28nm variant for devices like the ATV and IPT.
  16. iSengKin macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2012
    my personal hunch...

    A6 processor(hopefully quad-core) for the new upcoming iPad 3 n iPhone 5...

    A5X for Apple TV n the rumored smaller iPad with 1024x768 resolution... ^_^
  17. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Up until now the iPad was only running at a slightly greater resolution than the iPhone/iPod touch. Perhaps the iPad 3 will run a different SoC than the next generation iPhone to take advantage of its considerably higher pixel count.
  18. RalfTheDog macrumors 65816


    Feb 23, 2010
    Lagrange Point
    I like the idea of forking the iPad and iPhone processors. The iPhone has less room for battery and heat dissipation. You can pack more clock into an iPad case.
  19. borgqueenx macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    we already saw the board of the ipad 3. Everyone knows it can change....but its highly unlikely. i say there's a like 95% chance the ipad 3 will have the A5X.
    but....we do not know what a5x means yet....maybe its the A15 architecture. that would be better then just a quad core improvement :D
  20. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    A5X for the "new" iPad 2 with same resolution
    A6 for the "new" iPad 3 with the retina display

    This would account for the supposed price hike in the iPad 3
  21. d0vr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2011
    *rocks quietly in corner with fingers crossed* iPad mini.. iPad mini... iPad mini...
  22. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    That's if you believe that board meant anything. I don't. There's no reason to offer a dual core iPad 3. The A15 is not ready.
  23. borgqueenx macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    "new ipad 2" ?
    It stays the ipad 2 is my guess. why would they improve an old product. this has also never happened before?


    id totally hope for a ipad mini, just to have a chance that that mini will have the a5x and then i can have a full 10inch with the A6 ;D
  24. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    This was my hunch. Small bump to the iPad 2 with the A5X, and in the iPad 3, the A6. There have been no A6 logic board leaks though, so either they haven't started manufacturing the A6, or it's still just for internal testing... It's possible that with the Retina display, LTE, and improved camera, they had to find a way to keep costs down, so they made a small compromise on the CPU.

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